95km Petronell-Carnuntum to Korneuberg
Now they tell us! We discovered the reason why we’ve been having such trouble cycling lately and feeling so low. We have been cycling in a record-breaking heatwave. It sounds silly not to have known this, but for the days we spent in Hungary and Slovakia, until we crossed into Austria, we didn’t understand anything on the local news. We knew it was hot but just assumed the temperatures were normal for summer. Not so! According to the radio today was one of the hottest ever in Austria, with temperatures soaring to 40°C. Thank goodness we got an early start. We felt much better as we got on the road today. A good night’s sleep put everything right and we resolved to get up extra early to try and beat the heat. It wasn’t long after 5am when we rolled out of our tent, hitting the road only after drinking a strong cup of coffee! Not long down the Danube cycle path, we met another long-distance touring cyclist. Daniel was just returning to his hometown of Munich after biking all the way to Romania and Bulgaria, then by bus to Istanbul and back on his bike again for the trip home to Germany. We hit it off and he kindly offered us a place to stay when we arrive in Munich. He also warned us off touring in Romania. We weren’t particularly thinking of going there anyway, but his tales of being attacked by apple-throwing locals, the constant threat of wild dogs and watching horses being beaten by their owners have made us cross it permanently off our list. We split up just before Vienna, leaving Daniel to make some progress on his ride home, while we dawdled along the cycle path. We were somewhat put off by the path in Slovakia but the scenery, signs and condition of the trail have improved incredibly since then and we can see why it is so popular. In the afternoon we relaxed by the Danube’s banks and even went for a little swim before finding a spot near the trail to put our tent. We thought we were in for a quiet evening but it turns out a heavy metal concert has just started across the river. Perhaps a night of Metallica classics is in store for us!